|Walnut bread with melted cheddar and sauced eggs on walnut bread toast|
We enjoy a thick slice still warm from the oven, often slathered with butter as a stand-alone treat or maybe as an accompaniment to a hearty bowl of soup. Add chunky walnut bread croutons to a turkey Caesar salad for a filling entree. Toast thin slices for open faced sandwiches or appetizer bases. Dip crispy walnut bread soldiers into your morning's soft boiled eggs. See, definitely a multitasking favorite!
|Photo from the cookbook Cooking for the Week|
Walnut Breadfrom Cooking for the Week: leisurely weekend cooking for easy weekday meals
makes 2 round loaves
1 tsp dry yeast
1 cup (8-oz) warm water (80-90 F)
1 cup all-purpose flour
12-oz walnut pieces
3/4 cup (6-oz) warm water
1-1/2 tsp dry yeast
1 Tbs salt
1/2 cup (4-oz) olive oil (or walnut oil if you have some)
2 tsp ground pepper
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (up to 1 cup more, as needed)
- Place water and yeast in a large bowl; stir and let stand until active; stir in the cup of flour. Cover loosely and set aside in a warm place for an hour, or until bubbly.
- Uncover and add the nuts, water, yeast, salt, oil and pepper to the mix. Add 4 cups of the flour in 1-cup increments and stir to mix. Add additional flour as needed to result in a slightly sticky dough.
- Turn out onto a floured workspace. Knead the dough until "smooth and elastic", adding light sprinkles of flour as needed to prevent sticking. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in volume. In my kitchen that took 2 hours.
- On a floured workspace, split the dough in half. With each piece form a round ball, pulling the edges into the center and pressing the seam firmly. Place with seam-side down on a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, roughly one hour.
- 20 minutes before baking the loaves, preheat the oven to 450 F. Slash each loaf with 2 or 3 cuts and place the baking sheet on a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Spritz the oven walls with water 5 -6 times and quickly close the door. Spray again after 5 minutes, and again after 5 more minutes. After 20 minutes reduce the oven temperature to 400 F and bake until the loaves are "nicely browned". Use an instant-read thermometer to check the center of the bread for 200 F or higher.
- Remove from the oven and place on a baking rack to cool completely before slicing. Enjoy immediately or wrap a cooled loaf in plastic or foil, place in a large freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.